It's March 1st! And March means release month for THE ISIS COLLAR!
Over at my friend Diane Carlisle's site, Are We There Yet? she asked a question: Why Do You Write? She asked various people to respond and link to her blog in a blog hop. Since we're doing a blog tour, it made sense to do a hop as part of the tour. So bunny hop along with me as I explain Why I Write!
I'm not one of those writers who has to write to keep the demons in their head at bay. I love creating worlds and people to live in them, but it's not really a "calling" for me as it is for some writers. But it's an amazing amount of FUN! I love seeing a finished book in my hands. I love knowing that people read about the conversations I had in my head and like the people. I felt amazing the day someone told me how much they HATED a character I wrote! The person's words really struck home. Wow! I mean, I created a character that inspired hate! Of course, I think it's terrific when a reader loves characters too, but if I wanted you to hate the person and you did, it says I'm supposed to be doing this.
I've always loved to read and used to read 2-3 books every day. I don't read quite that much anymore (simply because life intervenes and . . . well, I'm writing now too) but I still love getting lost in a world. Whether it's thriller or mystery, romance or SF/F, the new people and new situations always amaze me. I used to wonder how in the world people could come up with these new ideas.
And now I'm doing it too! How cool is that?!
Obviously, since we're introducing THE ISIS COLLAR this month, it makes sense that I should talk about why I wrote about zombies in Celia's world. Okay, yes--zombies are hot news right now but that's not why. I actually am a huge fan of medical mysteries. Love Robin Cook, Michael Palmer, Kathy Reichs and the like. I watch Mystery Diagnosis, House and Dr. G: Medical Examiner on television.
And I wanted to make a medical mystery. What could be a better mystery than Celia catching a zombie plague? Yes, you read that right. A zombie "plague". It's a bacteria, like Ebola or Leprosy, that's magical in nature (because it can be in her world). The bacteria kills the host, like many deadly bacteria do. But this is no ordinary bug. Once the person dies, the bacteria colony takes over the body! It can walk and interact and scratch and bite. Just like classic zombie movies except how do you kill not just the one body, but a million-billion bacteria causing the body to move? It's VERY fun!
Here's a little sample of what my lovely bacteria, M.Necrose does:
Nobody knows me better than Bruno. He gets me. We have the same sense of humor, share most of the same attitudes. When it works with us it’s so very good. I took the moment of solace he offered and let my mind and body be whisked away to a better place.
Until the screaming started.
We both reacted as if cattle prods had been shoved into our spines. We sprang away from each other and turned, both searching for the danger. It was interesting seeing which people ran toward the danger and which ran away. The doctors and nurses, by and large, went toward. The clerks and orderlies, away. I would have thought at least the orderlies would stay. They’re usually stuck with the strong-arm stuff when it came to violent patients. But the looks on their faces as they passed by the waiting room said they wanted no part of whatever was down the hall.
There are laws about what you can bring into a hospital, so all I had were charm disks. I came on such short notice to comfort Molly that I didn’t even think about bringing my knives. Well, I wasn’t totally unarmed. I had a level-nine mage by my side.
And who needed more than that?
We rounded the corner and got our first look at the future of the city, and possibly the world, if we didn’t stop this disease. The man was big, tall, and bulky like a construction worker or pro boxer. He filled the hallway, standing still but sensing around him, searching for something to attack. His skin was black—and I don’t mean like an African-American’s, but black like something from the back of the refrigerator, where you would rather throw away the bowl rather than risk taking off the plastic wrap. What remained of his clothing was stuck to the goo—oozing out of the lesions that covered his skin. Doctors and nurses surrounded him, completely baffled about what to do with him.
Bruno skidded to a stop beside me. I wondered what our options were. “Jesus. Is that the endgame of M. necrose. I’ve never seen it.”
“Yeah. But he’s way worse than Principal Sanchez was. This guy’s eyeballs are missing. That is, except for what’s left dangling on his cheek. And for the record, eww. But he’s tracking the people around him.” One arm made a grab for a nearby nurse and managed to catch the fabric of her scrub top. She was quick;, I’d give her that. She stripped out of that thing so fast you’d think it was burning. Her bra was snow-white, matching her widened eyes.
I could smell the death on him, but he sure was active for a corpse.
Bruno said, “I might not be able to pack the body-binding spell into a charm like Creede, but I sure can cast it directly.” I felt the hairs all over my body rise in unison as he raised power without half trying He whispered the words and I felt the energy leave his outstretched hands and fly toward the zombie in the hallway. “Corpus bidim.”
The spell should have frozen the man’s muscles, causing him to fall straight over and hit his nose on the linoleum.
Note I say, should. Because that’s not what happened. The power struck him all right, but, like a movie said when a nuclear bomb exploded uselessly against an alien ship, the target remains.. Bruno got a shocked look on his face. One of the doctors looked at him and said, “Whatever spell you tried to cast . . . do it again. He’s still moving.”
Bruno cast a second time and the power used not only raised my hair but also brought on a sudden bout of my hypervision. I really should have had a nutrition shake before leaving home. While I enjoyed drinking fruit or vegetable juice, they didn’t satisfy my hunger. I had to have either broth or a shake to keep the vampire down.
But the second spell likewise had no effect. I tapped his arm and he noticed my glowing skin and reddened eyes. Nobody else did because everyone was too busy watching the zombie, who was baring sharp-looking teeth and clawlike fingernails, all the better to spread the infection with.
“What the hell?” Bruno’s voice held equal parts disbelief and anger. He’d probably never failed at casting before, but I knew why as I stared at the zombie with different sight.
I tapped Bruno’s arm a second time. “I know what’s wrong—why the spell isn’t working.”
A doctor looked at me and his eyes widened. He reached for the cross around his neck as Bruno said, “Why? What can you see that I can’t?”
I pointed toward the zombie. “You’re casting one spell, against a single individual. But that is a million billion individuals, working together. He’s glowing with tiny dots of energy.” It was bizarre, unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Each dot seemed to have the same bands of energy I’d see in a living person. “What else can you try?”
“Freeze, cut him apart . . . a thousand things. What do you think will work?”
I had an idea.
What's the idea? Well, you'll just have to go out and buy the book to find out.
That's why I write. Because how fun is it to create something like this? :D
Now, obviously, since this is one of the first legs of our blog tour, we're giving PRIZES! Comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of THE ISIS COLLAR hot off the press. We'll pick one lucky person (yes, international addresses are okay!) at the end of the full tour so make sure you include your contact email so we can get in touch with you.
Oh, and if you’re intrigued (and you know you are) go out and buy THE ISIS COLLAR by Cat Adams right away! And if you’ve never heard of Celia Graves’ earlier adventures in BLOOD SONG, SIREN SONG and DEMON SONG, they’re on sale until the release of ISIS! It’s a really good sale, too: only $2.99 for a Kindle download. Heck, that’s three for the price of one! And if you’re a print fanatic, they’re also on sale at Amazon on a 4-for-3 special. But lots of other retailers have them on sale too, so go to our publisher’s website, scroll all the way to the bottom and choose your favorite store.